Advisory Services for Community-Supported Food Security

The approach Cultivate Abundance uses to address the ironic food insecurity of Immokalee’s farmworker community is simple. On a year-round basis, along with local partners, we grow, collect, and share nutritious food of local/cultural preference. This is what we call community-supported food security.

 

We believe that food pantry efforts to alleviate local food insecurity shouldn’t depend solely on regional food banks to provide mainly shelf-stable dried and canned foods along with surplus commercial produce. Recent pandemic-driven food inflation and supply chain issues have revealed weaknesses in our nation’s vast commercial food system, as well as charities, which ultimately fails to alleviate hunger among America’s most vulnerable groups such as non-citizens.

 

As a result, Cultivate Abundance emphasizes local solutions for local food security problems and encourages other community-based organizations to engage in similar efforts.

 

To promote the engagement of congregations, and other community-based institutions, in producing, collecting, and sharing healthy food of local preference, Cultivate Abundance is offering various advisory service options.

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Workshops on the basics of small-scale food production for Florida-based community organizations

Engagements of three hours, or less, are offered for locations within a three-hour drive of Fort Myers, FL to provide technical information and exchange related to: 1) natural gardening techniques, 2) production of tropical/subtropical fruit and vegetables, and 3) production of ethnic/underutilized crops. Hosts are requested to cover the cost of travel and possibly lodging/meals.

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Workshops to raise awareness related to community-supported food security efforts

Engagements of three hours, or less, are offered for locations within a three-hour drive of Fort Myers, FL to raise awareness about community-supported options to address local food insecurity (e.g., community gardening, food-sharing alliances of home gardeners, local institutions, and small farms).  Hosts within three-hours of Fort Myers are requested to cover the cost of travel and possibly lodging/meals. Those further than a half-day drive from Fort Myers are requested to cover the cost of travel and potential lodging/meals as well as a one-day rate of $200.

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Workshops to assist with organizing community-supported food security efforts

One to two day-long sessions are offered during which Cultivate Abundance representatives may help congregations/institutions to: 1) understand how to identify/confirm local food insecurity challenges, 2) identify or confirm relevant partners, and other local assets, needed to address food insecurity, 3) consider the types of food that might be produced and shared locally, 4)  survey the best approaches and seasons for growing, collecting and sharing such food, and/or 5) evaluate sites for small-scale food production potential. Hosts are requested to cover the cost of travel and potential lodging/meals as well as a one-day rate of $200 or $300 for two-day long sessions.

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